I started using the gym non-religiously over a year ago. I went from being overly self-conscious and having panic attacks to getting in there, breaking a sweat and leaving with “runners high”. I really feel like a big part of how I made that shift comes down to 2 things;
Trial and Error + My Essentials List.
My tailor-made list of items and tips are realistic and sustainable. If you’re new to the world of Le Gym or a regular gym go-er I hope you find something new to take away. Let’s dive in…
First things first, Let’s talk confidence in the gym.
Going from Gym newbie to a “Gym Person” is not easy. The struggle is real, especially in the beginning stages. If you’re in struggle-ville I can tell you now that gathering up the courage to go to the gym in the first place is already a major win.
I remember my first day at the gym, there was a lady on the treadmill ~ Picture a flourescent pink headband, huge headphones with arms flaying around. She was miming along to what I could only imagine was a Madonna track. To put it frankly, she didn’t give a monkeys arse what people thought of her and that’s what inspired me. My spirit animal! I quickly learnt that sometimes you have to do what you have to do, especially when your health is at stake so why not make it fun. Now occasionally, when I really get into my music I’m convinced I’m auditioning to be the 8th member of BTS, giving it my all and fighting for my place. I wish I was exaggerating but I’m not, Call me crazy but it get’s the job done.
What I wear to the gym
For trainers, I’ve always been pretty simple. Free runs and Cloudfoams are typically what I wear and always in black/grey. Light on the feet and with great flexibility. Nothing worse than feeling restricted during workouts. These pics are from the summer of ’18.
I learnt pretty early on that as like in the real world I don’t fit into that “girly girl stereotype”, so skin-tight matching floral prints were never an option for me. I’m more into the monochromatic look. I tend to wear oversized Men’s T-shirts or a good old band tee. I really like Matalan for affordable & good quality gym clothes. The Crossback T-shirt pictured above was an absolute steal at £7. I find I’m comfy in black joggers and Nike’s Dri Fit Running Pants. They have several compartments which come in handy for tiny things like bobby pins and locker keys.
Tip: Being comfortable in the gym is key to feeling confident and banging out great workouts so wear whatever makes you feel good. Adopt a IDGAF attitude. You’ll feel less awkward and more confident.
That being said I consider myself “bottom heavy” so to feel less self-conscious sometimes wrap a flannel / jumper around my waist. It’s kind of counter intuitive I know, but it acts as a security blanket and wards off the gym pervs ~ amirite ladies? Major Eye roll but it happens. Thank God my new gym has the treadmills at the back.
Moving on to Earphones & Music
Earhoox. Where do I begin? I was gifted these a while ago but waited until this past summer to give them a go. Mainly because I knew they’d be something I wanted to review and do a giveaway on. Well let’s just say I didn’t really know how much I needed them until I had them. They are amazing! Especially for the gym.
These silicone attachments make a huge difference, especially when on the treadmill. They keep your earphones nice and snug in your ear so you’re free to workout without your earphones flying out. I think this may also be a solution for people who have ear pods that don’t fit just right. Look out for a review and giveaway coming soon to get your hands on a pair of Earhoox too!
Now, What would gym workouts be without music?
Some people prefer no music and some prefer podcasts. I’ve tried everything from Netflix to phone calls but at the end of the day I find that the best way for me to pass the time and get that extra motivation is to watch BTS music videos. Don’t know why but it’s the only thing that works. I have a few songs up my sleeve for my Interval training and incline walks that I love to.
(Edit: I’ve started watching Queen of the south on the treadmill & that’s been a great source of entertainment). I have a secret gym playlist available for my newsletter fam. To get the playlist sign up here and it’ll land right into your inbox.
This Barre to Bar bag from Sweaty Betty is stylish and functional. As a petite person coming in at just over 5″2, it’s the perfect size for me. It’s deceiving compact and can carry a lot more than you think. It even has a compartment for my laptop which is perfect for those days when I work from a coffee shop but still want to hit the gym later. Unfortunately this one is sold out but there is a similar style backpack that I think you’ll love. As an alternative I think the Technical gym bag by Oysho is great too.
So what’s inside my Gym Bag?
- A Reusable Trolley Coin (works in lockers too) or Padlock for the lockers
- Water Bottle (I’m still on the lookout for a good one so I’d love your recommendations)
- Almonds/Fruit (I used to sneak in sweets! I’ve come a mighty long way ha!)
- Aspartame free Chewing Gum (for the treadmill, this may sound like a hazard but I really find it helps with nausea, helps me concentrate plus I feel like a bit of a badass.
- Toggle Hair Tie + Hair pins (for dem bangs)
- Shower Bag (Rituals Calming Shower Set (It’s really does calm your senses and smells lush), Travel Size Vita Coco Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Micellar Water, Reusable Cotton pads, Baby Wipes, Deodorant, Body Lotion)
- Small Makeup Bag with minimal items (Sample Size foundation, Powder, Mascara, Lip balm, Brow Pencil)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Bandana ( for keeping sweat at bay during intense workouts; it’s discreet & looks cool)
- Ankle Weights (This is a new addition & I’m loving adding extra weight to my workouts)
- Microfiber Towel (These quick drying towels are perfect for the gym & for travel)
- Spare T-shirt/Change of clothes
And that’s about it! What are some of your gym essesntials? I’d love to know!